With reference to the editorial The Sudan challenge published in The Hindu on April 28, Omer Elamin Abdalla, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan in New Delhi, says:

We agree with you totally that the escalation of conflicts between Sudan and South Sudan is something that neither of the two countries can sustain without inflicting serious hurt to their respective people.

The referendum conducted in a civilised and peaceful manner surprised the whole world and Sudan was the first country that recognised the new state of South Sudan, while fulfilling all its commitments according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the CPA. This confirms the fact that Sudan could not have harboured any hostile or mala fide intentions about South Sudan.

But the government of South Sudan, instead of working on developmental projects and peace initiatives, continued to raise problems and cross border insurgency. The army of South Sudan launched a treacherous aggression against the Sudan on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. The untimely aggression was perpetrated by the South Sudanese army, although the Heglig area was internationally recognised as part of Sudan even before its independence on January 1, 1956, the date that was regarded in the CPA of 2005 as a denominator for verifying and demarcating the border lines between the north and the south.

Sudan acknowledges with sincere gratitude and appreciation the prompt and unequivocal support and strong positions exhibited by the United Nations and regional and international organisations such as the Security Council, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab countries, major western and Asian countries, the Russian federation, the United States besides France, United Kingdom, China and most countries around the world.

No distinction

Regarding the lack of development because of the religion or race of the people of the South Kordufan, I reaffirm that there is no distinction among people on the basis of their religion, sex, colour and I reiterate that the equality of all citizens as is stated in the Constitution of the Sudan. The lack of development is caused by wars and instability. There are many development projects, including for infrastructure and water, on the cards but the rebel movement, supported by the state of South Sudan, has kidnapped the engineers and workers, as happened to the Chinese workers recently.

It is indeed gratifying to note that now the Sudanese armed forces have defeated the invaders and restored Heglig.

It is to be emphasised that Sudan has always sought a peaceful approach and endeavours to resolve all outstanding issues with South Sudan.

The government of the Sudan has time and again expressed its keenness and faithful willingness to reach fair and balanced agreements with South Sudan by peaceful means and negotiations which were, and are still sponsored by the African Union. Its efforts and role are highly appreciated by the Sudan.

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